24 Aug 2011

Social Dining App Forkly Helps You Rate And Review Food

Forkly, which allows you to rate and review menu items at restaurants and share your reviews with your friends, has just launched its iPhone app.
You can tell the app whether you like an item, love it, think it’s okay or is “not for me” and you can add a short review before sharing your rating with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Rating items will help Forkly build a profile of what you like and what you don’t — this will help it provide recommendations of other menu items you may like.

You can follow other users to find out what they are eating (and what they think of their meals) and you can bookmark something you would like to try yourself by tapping the “want it” button. Similarly, you can bookmark a place you want to try by tapping the “want to go here” button.
The overall aim is to help you discover new restaurants and dishes to try out and, when you are already at a restaurant, help you find out which items on the menu are good before you order.
As you share your opinions about food and drinks, you can gain influence points and see which other Forkly users you are influencing. You can become the Top Influencer for both venues and menu items, which somewhat gamefies the app.
forkly1  forkly2
Forkly is also trying to solve the initial problem of not having anyone to follow as you sign up using your Twitter account — you will need to have a Twitter account to use the app. You will then start to follow all Forkly users you are also following on Twitter. However, I’m not sure how effective this will be, since we don’t always follow people on Twitter who live locally. Perhaps Facebook integration would have been better here.
At launch, Forkly is also including some tools to help restaurants, brands and bloggers get the most out of the app, so it seems that it may already have monetization in mind.
At first glance, Forkly — which was developed by Martin May and Brady Becker, 2 of the co-founders of Brightkite — is a nice looking app that could provide a lot of value for people like me, who like to check out new restaurants and try different dishes. It feels similar to Foodspotting, but is actually more like Yelp in that it focuses more on reviews — albeit reviews of specific dishes rather than restaurants. Offering personalized recommendations is a nice touch and the gamification should lead to a good level of engagement.
You can check out Forkly for yourself now by downloading the app on your iPhone. Forkly is not available on the Android or BlackBerry platforms at the time of this writing.

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